Flat Deck or Step Deck Trailers - Which One Is Right For You?

Deciding what type of heavy-duty deck trailer to buy, lease or rent depends entirely on the cargo you’re hauling.

We have many customers in the short and long haul deck business so we understand the unique needs of each customer.

Decks are ideal for transporting everything from Tractors, Excavators, Building Materials, Construction supplies and equipment, lumber, formed concrete, steel, pipe and many other raw and bulky materials.

Unlike Vans and Reefer trailers that can only be loaded from the back, decks can be loaded from the back, sides and front, which makes them extremely versatile.

The two most common types of decks on the market – and the ones we sell the most of are Flat Decks and Step Decks (which are also referred to as Drop Decks). The main difference between these types of decks is their deck height. Because the maximum load height in most of Canada is 13 feet 6 inches, deck height is extremely important to carriers. 

Flat decks are typically higher with a deck height of five feet off the ground and can carry loads up to 8’ 6” tall. 

Step decks have two deck heights; a shorter upper deck of 11 feet that clears the tractor axles and a fifth wheel pulling and connecting the trailer. And a 37 to 42-foot lower deck that is typically three feet six inches off the ground and can carry freight loads of 10 feet. Step decks are generally heavier than flat decks, which means they carry lighter maximum payloads.

Our most popular decks are made by Great Dane. Besides the deck type (Flat Deck or Step Deck) and the axle configuration (tandem or tridem), the material composition of each deck is what gets asked about the most. We have three options that are progressively more expensive because of the materials used in their composition. These include: 

  • All Steel Decks with wood floors
  • Combo decks which are made from Steel frames and Aluminum Floors
  • And all Aluminum Decks are made of aluminum frames and aluminum decks.

Here’s a little bit of information about each of these options.

All-Steel Deck Trailers

  • The Great Dane Freedom SE is made of a one-piece main beam - standard .38" x5" HD KSI Steel Flange
  • Dry weight for a 53-foot all-steel tandem flat deck is 12,970 LBS
  • 80,000 LBS evenly distributed load rating & 50,000 LBS Concentration load rating (4 ft)
  • 4" wax-coated cross members for extra corrosion resistance
  • All steel components are shot blasted, then applied with a high-quality 2-part epoxy primer and urethane top coat - ensures superior adhesion, protection & corrosion resistance
  • 1.13" Apitong floor offers strength and versatility for load securement - aluminum floor options are available
  • TOUGHGUARD - award-winning rear impact guard - increases safety in case of rear-impact collisions
  • Available in flat and drop decks

Steel/Aluminum Combo Deck Trailers

  • The Great Dane Freedom LT has a one-piece main beam - strong & lightweight (high capacity)
  • Dry weight for a 53-foot combo steel/aluminum tandem flat deck is 11,545 LBS
  • HD extruded aluminum side rails for flexible load securement
  • 5 stake pockets recessed into the rear cross member for impact protection
  • 1.25 aluminum floor w/ 2 apitong nailing strips - options available for additional nailing strips or full apitong wood floor
  • Available in flat and drop decks

All-Aluminum Flatbeds

  • The Great Dane Freedom XP is the industry's only 10-year warranty
  • Dry weight for a 53-foot all-aluminum flat deck is 10,200 lbs
  • 2-piece riveted main beam - offer 52,000 to 60,000 LBS concentrated load ratings & the 80,000 to 120,000 LBS distributed load ratings
  • Aluminum floor standard with safety grip for increased traction & load stability
  • Available only in flat deck only.

Depending on your needs, we have a deck trailer that's right for you. Visit our website or give us a call to find out more about our new and used deck trailer inventory.